Kilgore sports complex to be renovated with KEDCO grant

Kilgore sports complex to be renovated with KEDCO grant
Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 3:44 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 19, 2022 at 8:37 PM CDT
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KILGORE, Texas (KLTV) - It’s needed a facelift for some time now, and it’s soon to get one. The Highway 135 Sports Complex in Kilgore has seen thousands of soccer and softball players over the years. And the city wants it to host thousands more as phase one of the renovations will begin soon.

City Manager Josh Selleck talks with a potential contractor for reconstructing the complex. Selleck says it was originally built with donations.

“So many big hitters from Kilgore just made this happen, so generously donating to make sure that Kilgore kids could play softball and play soccer. And really, it’s served very well for the last 30 plus years. It’ really a testament to what Kilgore can do,” Selleck said.

He says it was originally owned by the Kilgore Softball Association.

“When they started seeing issues like their light poles falling down, fencing issues, flooding issues and drainage issue that creep up over time they asked us to look into it. We came up with a concept and plan,” Selleck said.

The association gave the city the deed. Selleck says eventually there will be a new concession stand with restroom but:

“In order to do that we have to push out the number one field which is just off to my left here. And so, in order to do that our first phase will be to move that field and rebuild that field,” Selleck said.

The light poles are also a priority.

“When we’ve removed them, they just splinter and fall apart,” Selleck said.

He says they’re unsure how many phases there will be but there’s a city workshop coming up in November for the project.

“So, by then we may know how many phases. It’s going to depend on funding availability and it’s going to depend on how far we want to go with each of the projects,” Selleck said.

Fencing supports, once solid, are rusting in places. They plan on replacing nearly everything. They’re hoping the project will be complete in five to ten years. No date has been set for a contactor bidding deadline.

The project will be paid for from quality-of-life grants by the Kilgore Economic Development Corporation The city has about $500,000 to pay for phase one which they expect will be complete in about a year and a half.